Author: Robert Workman, NHS

Day Two – Wednesday 26th June

Strand – Health & Well Being

Session Five: 11.15am – 12.45pm

This qualitative study is an examination of meaningful activity and retirement transition in a period of population ageing in Wales. Semi-structured interviews were used to gather data from older people regarding the changes in their activity patterns following retirement, their own perceptions of the benefits of engaging in meaningful activity, and whether differences in gender or marital status impact on activity engagement.

Data was analysed by thematic analysis and seven main themes were identified. The potential role of the occupational therapy profession was also considered due to its foundations in the use of meaningful activity to enhance well-being.

Results suggest that the participants exhibit continuity of activity following retirement to maintain daily structure, social status, social contacts, and feelings of value, satisfaction and enjoyment. Gender roles were found to have an impact on activity choice but the participants in this study did not cite marital status as a significant factor.

The study concludes that while further research is required into the role that activity planning can have on the retirement transition process, there are possible implications for policy and occupational therapy practice in developing such formal planning as a health promotion intervention.

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